Fatima Holy Doors

By Jenna Ebener

The 99th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima kicked off the start of a year of faith, praise, and mercy in a powerful way. On Sunday, October 23 at the 11:30 mass, Archbishop Aquila opened a holy door to Our Lady of Fatima to begin a year of pilgrimage. We are now blessed to be able to end Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year by having a holy door to our own parish to obtain a plenary indulgence. It was a sign of our parishioners’ joy, anticipation, and fellowship of this symbolic celebration to see the church filled to standing room only. The ceremony began with our Archbishop’s opening statements of this special occurrence, and the procession was welcomed by a noble line of members from the Knights of Columbus on either side of the aisle. The music, as always, was beautiful, the celebrants were dressed in special blue and white vestments, and the celebration was marked with little special features throughout, such as children bringing up the offering of gifts.

Throughout the ceremony, we were reminded of things that are easy to forget. Doors are everywhere in life, and their significance can be lost. There is the popular saying: “When one door closes, another door opens.” Doors can symbolize change, hope, and, in regards to the church, they can symbolize entering God’s presence. This holy door is a continuous reminder to be extra mindful of our Lord and our spiritual journey as we embark on this year in preparation for our parish’s 100th anniversary. The readings and homily tied together wonderfully with preparing us for the year ahead. The reading from Sirach focused on justice and reminding us that God does not forgot the oppressed, but rather embraces them. Saint Paul encouraged us to keep fighting for our faith. Finally, the gospel from Luke reminded us of the importance of humility and remembering that we are constantly in need of God’s mercy. What better way to continue this year of mercy than by being reminded of God’s endless mercy and love if we only remember to self-reflect and ask? See more photos at Centennial Photo Gallery.